While waiting around for over an hour, before running the NYC Half on March 16 (where I set my PR of 2:15!), I wondered how I had gotten to this point. It was sub 20 degrees & windy, but I was excited to be there to RUN?!
My journey started two years ago….
A once college athlete, I was 27 years old, post 5 knee surgeries & routinely used every excuse to not workout. I was out of shape and self-conscious about it. But this time I decided I was going to make a change; my sister was getting married and I wanted to lose some weight! I joined Weight Watchers and a local gym and set out to lose 25lbs in 4 months. I didn’t necessarily enjoy it, but I was seeing results! My pathetic, weak, underestimated knee was gaining strength and I liked what I saw on the scale. My motivation turned to habit & my walking on the treadmill turned to jogging on the treadmill. The girl who previously joked about people who would “run to nowhere,” was becoming a hypocrite. My sister’s wedding came and I had accomplished my goal, I had lost exactly 25lbs. Summer came and went, and my jogging turned to SHORT runs. I completed some entertaining 5k’s with friends, but for the most part, I was content with daily, indoor & non-competitive, workouts. Then it happened…
In November 2012, my (step)father, a healthy 56-year-old father, son, husband, cousin, uncle and best friend was unexpectedly diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic melanoma and given a poor prognosis. With little I could do to physically help him, I decided to fight for him. Just 7 months prior, I was the girl who couldn’t get through a treadmill circuit without mostly walking; but I wanted to take such a negative blow and fight back; so I formed TeamBob. My sister and I signed up for a 15 mile bike ride with the American Cancer Society (GW Bridge Challenge) and began fundraising in his honor. As we giggled at the idea of this seemingly impossible task, our friends and family began to rally around us. In a little over 2 months’ time, TeamBob grew to over 30 people (some participating in the bike event and some the 5k & 10k) and we raised over $9000! Unfortunately, 2 weeks after our first “official” TeamBob event & just 7 short months after his diagnosis, he lost his battle to cancer on June 24, 2013. I wasn’t going to let TeamBob go with him…
I have since poured my heart and soul (and physical body during training) into keeping his memory alive via TeamBob. In 12 months, I have participated in 4 half marathons, a duathlon, a 15mile bike race, and dozens of 5 & 10k runs; and with the help and support of my amazing friends and family (the core of TeamBob), raised just over $24,000 in his memory!!
I run in memory of him; but I also run for my mom, my siblings, my cousins, my aunt & uncles, our amazing friends and myself. Because, by running for a cause, I am helping to prevent other people from going through the heartache we have endured this past year.
The guest blogger, Jennifer Robinson, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also “Like” her Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/forteambob.